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China’s Central Bank Moves to Slow Yuan Depreciation

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China’s central financial institution has reduce the quantity of international alternate banks should preserve in reserve, an try to bolster the nation’s quickly weakening forex.

The yuan is buying and selling round its lowest level in more than two years. It’s value round 6.94 per U.S. greenback within the extra freely traded offshore market, taking its year-to-date decline in opposition to the greenback to eight.4%, in accordance with FactSet.

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Veteran of FDIC Takeover Tells What It’s Like to Run a Failed Bank

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John Bovenzi is part of the small club of people who have run a

failed U.S. bank, a group whose membership expanded by two this month when regulators swooped in to take over Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

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In 2008, Mr. Bovenzi, a longtime Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. staffer, took the helm at the failed mortgage lender IndyMac. What he discovered, and what likely faces executives running the latest failed banks: Deposits flood out, but few come in. The employees who haven’t left are looking for other jobs. It is possible some of the remaining higher-ups are responsible for what went wrong—and might even be questioned by law-enforcement officials.

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What Are AT1 Bonds, and Why Are They Risky?

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Swiss regulators announced on March 19 a wipeout of more than $17 billion of Credit Suisse Group AG’s 

additional Tier 1 bonds, or AT1s, shocking investors as shareholders were paid out before some bondholders. AT1 bonds deliver higher yields than many comparable assets, which makes them attractive to investors willing to take the risk.

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AT1 bonds are popular among European banks as a way to build up safety buffers. Following the 2008 financial crisis, many countries in Europe signed on to a regulatory framework called Basel III, under which they passed laws requiring large banks to maintain a financial cushion for protection during a downturn.

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Social Media Platforms Are Asking Users for Money. They Probably Don’t Mean You.

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Social-media companies are finally

asking users to pay up. It isn’t personal—it’s strictly business

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As of last month, the option to pay for Facebook’s new subscription service will run you nearly $12 a month in some countries despite co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s 2010 declaration that his social-media network will always be free. Facebook parent Meta Platforms is also rolling out an optional subscription service for its photo sharing app, Instagram. Snap Inc. has added a subscription service for Snapchat. Elon Musk’s Twitter, bleeding cash, recently upgraded its legacy subscription service, Blue, and LinkedIn has had subscription offerings for well over 15 years. 

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What’s Going on With First Republic Bank?

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First Republic Bank shares have been hit hard over the past week following the failures of two large U.S. regional banks,

Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. On Thursday, shares of the bank and many other financial firms rallied after The Wall Street Journal reported that the biggest U.S. banks are discussing a joint rescue of the San Francisco lender. Under the plan, 11 banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. would place $30 billion in deposits at First Republic, using their own funds.

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First Republic was one of the banks to be swept up in the contagion that followed the March 10 failure of SVB Financial Corp., the parent of Silicon Valley Bank, because of some similarities including their size, their largely wealthy client base and the largely uninsured nature of their deposit bases.

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Why Gas Bills Are Going Crazy—With No End in Sight

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Homeowners and businesses across the country have seen their gas bills go wild—and

the turbulence isn’t going to calm down anytime soon.

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Last year was the most volatile on record for natural gas, boosting the cost to heat homes, generate electricity and manufacture economic building blocks such as fertilizer and steel. Prices in 2022 whipsawed from unseasonable lows to shale-era highs and back again. Benchmark gas futures, which determine what millions of Americans pay for heat and electricity, swung by at least 7% on 44 days last year, the most since at least the early 1990s, when gas markets were deregulated and the modern trading era began. 

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Banking Crisis Powers Historic Bond Rally

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Turmoil in the banking sector sparked a furious rally in government bonds Monday, with yields on some shorter-term Treasurys collapsing half a percentage point in hours.

Yields, which fall when bond prices rise, started falling during the Asia trading session soon after U.S. regulators, including the Federal Reserve,

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announced measures on Sunday night intended to mute the fallout from Silicon Valley Bank’s sudden collapse on Friday. They then took another nosedive when trading opened in Europe and continued to slide at the start of U.S. trading, while stock indexes wavered.

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Crypto Companies Behind Tether Used Falsified Documents and Shell Companies to Get Bank Accounts

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In late 2018, the companies behind the most widely traded cryptocurrency were struggling to maintain their access to the global banking system. Some of their backers turned to shadowy intermediaries, falsified documents and shell companies to get back in, documents show.

One of those intermediaries, a major tether trader in China, was trying to “circumvent the banking system by providing fake sales invoices and contracts for each deposit and withdrawal,” Stephen Moore, one of the owners of Tether Holdings Ltd., said in an email viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

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The Tax Play That Saves Some Couples Big Bucks

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Spencer Phillips, a 39-year-old orchestral musician who plays the bass violin, loves and trusts his wife of 10 years—but he refuses to file a joint income-tax return with her. 

Instead, Mr. Phillips and his wife opt into the “married, filing separately” status, called MFS, and each spouse reports only his or her income to the Internal Revenue Service. This saves them a lot of money: By filing separately, and so reducing his stated income, Mr. Phillips’s student-loan payments on about $200,000 of debt from the prestigious Eastman School of Music and other programs come to about $240 monthly instead of more than $1,000.  

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Peacetime Would Be a Black Swan Event For Energy

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The “Russia question,” what role the country’s fossil fuels might play in peacetime, may not be the most pressing issue for energy bosses and the investors backing them. But it is rightly on their minds.

The year since Russia invaded Ukraine has been a roller coaster for energy markets. Oil prices have been volatile, with the global Brent benchmark peaking at $133 a barrel in March before falling back around $80 today—below where they traded on the first day of the war. That is nothing compared with natural gas. After Moscow

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cut pipeline supplies to Europe, the region’s benchmark TTF day-ahead gas price hit a level equivalent to almost $580 a barrel of oil in late August.

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Wall Street Backs New Class of Psychedelic Drugs

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Wall Street is betting tens of millions of dollars on psychedelic drugs that backers say could treat mental illness for a fraction of what it costs to do therapy with better-known treatments.

Transcend Therapeutics Inc. raised $40 million from venture-capital investors in January to develop a post-traumatic stress disorder treatment that its 29-year-old CEO Blake Mandell says would require about half the amount of therapy as MDMA, or ecstasy, a popular hallucinogen. Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Lusaris Therapeutics Inc. have announced capital raises of about $100 million since November for similar products addressing depression. 

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